Returning to Work, Revamping Commuting Habits

Smart Cities Dive spoke to UCLA Luskin’s Donald Shoup for an article on companies attempting to change employees’ commuting habits as they return to in-person work. Historically, private car travel has been the predominant way U.S. workers get to work. An estimated 85% of employers offer free on-site parking, compared with just 13% that offer a transit subsidy, the article noted. Increasingly, employers are offering incentives to encourage commuting options including public transit, walking, biking and carpooling — and disincentives to drive alone, including raising the cost of parking. Shoup, a distinguished research professor of urban planning, is a proponent of the “parking cashout.” This system provides employees the option of compensation in the form of cash or other transportation benefits in exchange for giving up their free parking benefit. “All we’re saying is, when you drive, you pay. When you don’t drive, you save,” Shoup said.


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